TV & Radio News
Where Are Our Graduates Now?
Grad lives trendy life at Merriman Associates/Architects
Skyler Renschler Baty, 24, is newly married as of Sept. 10, 2011,and said she has her "dream job" in public relations with Merriman Associates/Architects in Dallas.
She serves as client relations manager and in her spare time, likes to bake cookies and travel. Always fast on her feet, Baty's job entails handling PR and marketing activities for a high-profile, national, full-service firm in the architectural, planning and interior design industry.
Baty began working at Merriman seven days after college graduation in May 2009. "There are a lot of good jobs in PR, but I have my dream job. I ensure strategy execution across all marketing platforms to build word-of-mouth brand recognition among clients and within the architectural industry as a whole," Baty said.
Baty pursues new real estate clients, prepares proposals and networks at industry events and trade shows. She works with some of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world. These include Jones Lang LaSalle (Roger Staubach's company), Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE Group (made up of former Bears Katie Braden, Burson Holman, Sean Sundby and Hunter Lee), Colliers International and others.
Merriman's current clients include Time Warner Cable, Bell Helicopter, Radio One, Genband, Hilton Anatole, the Petroleum Club and Nissan.
Baty also handles social media, providing daily and weekly updates to the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Born and raised in Waco, Baty said her journalism professors guided her well. "Dr. Cassy Burleson provides a willingness and drive that's rare in professors. When combined with her engaging personality and assertiveness, it was impossible to not enjoy her 50-minute Advanced PR class," Baty said. (Of course, the fact Burleson is her aunt probably had nothing to do with that remark.)
Burleson said Baty represents of the kind of top-notch, hard-working students in the department. "If you know Sky, then you know she's also caring, genuine and lots of fun. This carries over into her work. She has always been full of surprises, starting with the fact that she was born on Christmas Eve. And I never saw her sing on stage until her wedding," Burleson said.
Baty said the respect shown by Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez and other teachers in the department prepared her to be bold, determined and BaylorProud. "Most of my office went to the University of Oklahoma, but I wear my green and gold loudly," she said.
Her parents, Richie and Dana Renschler, also contributed to her determination to succeed, she said. Her mother, retired from a decades-long job in PR at the Waco Center for Youth, is "a positive thinker, who told me to look at each day in a new light and be optimistic," Baty said. Her entrepreneur father taught her to be honest, work hard, keep an eye on her goals, "but to relax and have fun, too."
Baty said Jerry Merriman, who started Merriman 25 years ago, "treats his company like a family," with trips to Starbuck's, Fair Day, a lunch series, golf tournaments "and cookies every Thursday."
Renschler married Robbie Baty, who also works in commercial real estate. "I've taught her to be even more aggressive ... and to love the Rangers," her husband said.
They reside in the energetic "uptown" part of Dallas, where many of her friends and classmates from Baylor live. Baty is active in the Junior League of Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Highland Park Methodist Church, The North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (Young Guns) and the Dallas Museum of Art.
To contact Baty, send email to: email@example.com.
Killough now writes about politics and blogs at CNN
Ashley Killough works for CNN in Washington, D.C. She writes about politics and helps maintain the network's widely-read blog, "The Political Ticker."
Killough got her start in political journalism covering the 2008 presidential election for The Baylor Lariat.
"I never got to work with Ashley on staff, but her contributions to the Lariat are still talked about today. She left an impressive mark on Baylor journalism," Fall 2011 Lariat City Editor Sara Tirrito said.
While at Baylor, Killough majored in international studies and journalism and completed two internships in Washington: one at Voice of America the other at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
After graduating in 2009. she spent 10 months in Armenia as a Fulbright Fellow, researching social media in the Caucasus and studying Russian. "Ashley is one of the sharpest students I've ever encountered, with a great command of language and a passion for political reporting. I wasn't one bit surprised when she landed a job with CNN. She always had a fierce work ethic, even as a student. One of the photos on my office wall is of Ashley asleep on her computer in the Lariat newsroom .... I always point to that picture as an example of the type of dedication a journalism career demands, Student Publications Assistant Media Adviser Julie Freeman said.
Freeman, who came to Baylor from the news industry, added that, "Ashley is a bulldog of a reporter who broke national news while she was a college student. She also served as one of the Lariat's four Washington correspondents for the 2008 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. She aggressively covered the campaign priod to that week as well, landing an exclusive interview with Mike Huckabee and covering Sen. John McCain's victory party during the primary election. These stories get retold every year, making Ashley one of the more 'legends' of the Lariat."
Killough went on to obtain her master's degree in broadcast journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
"She's an awesome person. That sounds cliche', but honestly, she's amazing. You know how some brilliant people are sometimes nerds? Well, Ashley has that perfect combination of personality and great intelligence," Professor Sara Stone said.
Killough's work has been published in a variety of media, including The Huffington Post, The Daily Caller, Ianyan Magazine, Wacoan Magazine, Eurasia Daily Monitor and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
"I knew she was going to be a star from the time she published a story in the Lariat and came to discuss it because she thought it wasn't good enough," Senior Lecturer Cassy Burleson said. "Her humility, sense of dedication to the field and work ethic gives us all someone to look up to. And here at Baylor, we have the joy of saying we knew her when ...."
Killough can be found on Twitter: @AshleyKillough
Up-and-coming interns spending eight weeks in London
Two journalism seniors are spending eight weeks in London studying as part of the Foundation for International Education.
Nick Dean is a senior journalism and political science major. Through Baylor's involvement with the fund, Dean is taking a full set of classes, including an 8-week international internship course. He's working as a reporter for the Church of England newspaper, the world's oldest religious newspaper.
"I'm a big fan of Nick's and Caty's," Student Publications Assistant Media Adviser Julie Freeman said. When he was Lariat editor, "Nick advanced social media -- Twitter, Facebook -- he drove up our online traffic."
Student Publications Director Paul Carr agreed. "They were a dynamic team. Caty is an excellent writer and has excellent news judgment as managing editor. Nick had vision and was a terrific page designer -- a leader in the newsroom."
Carr jokingly added, "But out of sight, out of mind. They abandoned us and decided to go spend a semester in London. I don't get that," he said with a wink.
Dean said the flexibility of the course schedule allows him to spend time traveling Europe. "I believe the experiences of traveling Europe, paired with some of the best hands-on teaching courses, is a combination definitely worth a semester of one's college experience," Dean said.
Caty Hirst is a senior journalism major from Caddo, Okla.
Besides taking journalism and political science classes, Hirst has an 8-week reporting internship for City AM, a daily newspaper paper focusing on international business.
Senior Lecturer Brad Owens, who teaches International Communication, said, "Caty is a born news reporter. She will be a formidable news gatherer. She will be a star." Hirst said that with the current financial crisis and the poor performance of the eurozone, an internship at City AM "will be intensive and fast-paced."
Hirst's courses are mulitcultural and include many trips in London and Europe, such as a weekend trip to Istanbul, Turkey, with a political science class.
"The combination of invigorating coursework, opportunities for travel and an international internship have pushed me out of my comfort zone and into an exciting world of learning and new experiences," Hirst said.
2000 grad excels in non-profit leadership
By STEPHANIE LEE
You know those pink ribbons we see everywhere that raise awareness for breast cancer? We see them on everything from lapels to yogurt cups to baseball bats. Those are the brainchild of a team of public relations experts led by 2000 Baylor journalism graduate Emily Callahan, senior vice president of global marketing and networks for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization.
Callahan, who earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and a minor in marketing and management, will soon be taking on another role in her professional life.
Starting in October Callahan will be the chief marketing officer for Alsac/St. Jude Children¡¦s Research Hospital, the second largest health charity in the world.
Callahan joined Susan G. Komen for the Cure six years ago as manager of public relations, with subsequent promotions to director of communications, managing director of marketing communications, vice president of marketing and, finally, senior vice president for global marketing and networks.
She is responsible for the communications, marketing, branding, interactive marketing, multicultural marketing and events functions, as well as oversight for Komen's 125 affiliates around the world.
Callahan's success has led her to unprecedented opportunities.
At Komen, I am proud about the work we did to change the brand from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in association with the organization's 25th anniversary, which really catapulted the organization's global reputation and helped dramatically increase fundraising, which led to record investments in our mission," Callahan said, adding that mission is: research, education, screening and treatment programs. I've been fortunate enough to work with every facet of marketing in partnerships with blue chip companies, millions of advocates and volunteers around the world, world leaders and celebrities.
I was able to travel to numerous places to further the promise that Nancy G. Brinker made to her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of the disease at age 36 when no one talked about breast cancer aloud, and there were certainly no pink ribbons everywhere, including all across the U.S., Eastern Europe and the Middle East," Callahan said.
As a result of her fascination with non-profit organizations, Callahan said she sees her work as a rewarding task.
I'm passionate about working in the non-profit industry. I believe in doing all I can to make the world a better place. I've been fortunate as a marketer and individual to work for the No. 1 and 2 most respected and trusted charity brands and two of the world's most well-known and effective charities for dealing with cancer and catastrophic illnesses," Callahan said. It's been a very hard decision to leave my job at Komen, since I'm passionate about the cause and the brand, but as the mother of a 14-month-old daughter, I feel drawn to the St. Jude mission and hope to make a difference in the lives of the patients and their families."
While completing her work, Callahan started a mission for herself. "I wanted to go to sleep at night knowing I had made a difference for people, not just earned a paycheck. The fact that I get to see the face of grace every day in my work in some way is incredibly rewarding," Callahan said.
She also said her Baylor University journalism experience was phenomenal, and she truly enjoyed her course of study.
"The professors took time to invest in me and really help me find a career path after graduating. They instilled the value of internships, encouraging me to find work as early as my freshman year and helping me make connections in major markets across the country," Callahan said.
Experience counts when working in journalism, PR and marketing, "so get started as early as you can while in school. Be a strong writer. That skill will always be valuable, no matter what your career path," Callahan said.
Pineda contributes to TV news and to her culture
By STEPHANIE LEE
Mariana Pineda, a Mexico City native and 2004 Baylor journalism graduate, has found that her calling, passion and career intersect perfectly in television news reporting and in advancing the causes of her Hispanic community.
Pineda has been employed with Univision for six years and currently works as a news reporter for KXLN-45, the Houston Univision affiliate and the fourth largest market in Spanish language TV in the U.S.
Pineda, who received her bachelor of arts in journalism with a public relations concentration and a Spanish minor, said she chose journalism as a career for one simple reason.
¡§I had a journalism class with Dr. Korpi and really enjoyed it. After taking more classes, I realized this was my true passion and calling,¡¨ Pineda said.
During her nearly six years at Univision, Pineda has worked in a number of positions. Currently a reporter for Univision 45 Houston, Pineda has also worked as an anchor/news reporter and director of public relations for the network¡¦s Austin affiliate.
Pineda said her success at Baylor and experience in television reporting have helped her achieve her goals and obtain her current position at Univision.
¡§Before I graduated from Baylor, during my senior year, I was already working as a news reporter for Telemundo 26 Waco-KXXV,¡¨ Pineda said. ¡§Once I graduated, I was offered the position of news anchor/news reporter, and after seven months, I got my opportunity with Univision Austin.¡¨
Two years later she was promoted to Univision Houston. She sees her career as a passion to serve her heritage.
¡§Since Univision is the leading Spanish language network, I wanted to work in a company that was able to reach what I had prayed for, which was to assist the Hispanic community in anything I would become,¡¨ Pineda said. ¡§God made it possible, and until this day, I receive feedback from viewers letting me know that I have made a difference by helping them. Helping my community matters more to me than an Emmy or any other reward I could get.¡¨
Every facet of her job is enjoyable for Pineda.
¡§First of all, being able to work in the field in which I majored. Also, getting the opportunity to meet people in politics, journalism and entertainment,¡¨ Pineda said.
During her career she has been afforded many opportunities she considers an honor.
¡§I was ecstatic when I heard that I was assigned to go to Baylor to cover the North American Summit in 2005. I got the privilege to meet former President George W. Bush and former Mexican President Vicente Fox,¡¨ she said. ¡§During another assignment, I got the opportunity to travel to Mexico City, my home city, where I covered the presidential inauguration of Mexico in 2006. I reported via satellite from Univision Mexico¡¦s Bureau to Austin.¡¨
And her Baylor experience is one she¡¦ll never forget.
¡§I chose Baylor for many reasons. Wow, actually, why not Baylor! I had learned from a friend who had graduated from Baylor about Baylor. Not long after I attended a college night at Tomball College, where I was going my summer semester, and there I learned about Baylor,¡¨ Pineda said. ¡§Once I knew it was a Christian-based school, there was not much more to consider. I prayed day and night until I received my acceptance letter, and the rest is history. God was and still is my goal and focus in everything I do.¡¨
Baylor journalism¡¦s learning environment offered Pineda every chance to succeed.
¡§I enjoyed the fact that I was able to overcome my fear of Castellaw. I never thought I was going to be able to write news in English, my second language, but my best grades were definitely in journalism,¡¨ Pineda said.
Pineda said the professors in the Department of Journalism and Media Arts contributed greatly to her success today.
¡§I also enjoyed taking classes from Dr. Brad Owens, a wise professor, who changed my life. He made me come out of my shell and pushed me to be the best. I still remember Dr. (Michael) Bishop telling me that Dr. Owens was the toughest professor, but he recommended taking him. I took the advice not once, but twice, and twice I aced the class,¡¨ Pineda said. ¡§Castellaw had just the right environment for me, it made me feel at home. For example, Professor Maxey Parrish, a loving professor, welcomed me with open arms during a Thanksgiving dinner. I recall him as a very dedicated teacher who spent his free time explaining to me the art of writing a proper press release. What a patient professor he is, and how much I admire his calling as a teacher. Without a doubt, at Castellaw I met my best friends and mentors.¡¨
Cunningham using Baylor degree to succeed
By DEVANY SEVERIN
After a quick breakfast, she arrives to work and finishes writing a news release.
While checking the Internet for news updates, she sticks the news release into a press kit alongside a pitch letter, backgrounder and fact sheet.
Next, the phone rings, and she negotiates with a client to set up an interview.
Seem busy? It is only 11 a.m. and this public relations practitioner still has to prepare and complete a pitch call to the media and attend a scheduled meeting with her account executives.
Although it may sound like she has 20 years of experience, Jodi Cunningham graduated from Baylor recently and currently works as an account coordinator for A. Larry Ross Communications in Dallas.
ALRC is a full-service media and public relations agency found in 1994 to ¡§restore faith in media,¡¨ provide ¡§value-added PR that defines values¡¨ and give Christian messages relevance and meaning in mainstream media.
ALRC assists Christian-focused organizations, associations and ministries. After earning a degree in public relations and a minor in business at Baylor University, Cunningham was prepared to work at ALRC.
She credits her confidence to the journalism classes she took ¡V most of which only had 15 students - which simulated actual public relations work.
As an account coordinator, Cunningham spends her days developing press kits, editing different materials and making pitch calls to the media.
Pitch calls - a large part of PR, take careful preparation because she only gets one chance to prove to a particular media outlet that her story has news value.
She remembers a particular editing class in Castellaw in which the professor assigned multiple projects at the same time under short deadline.
¡§This helped me because I am constantly juggling multiple balls at work,¡¨ she said. ¡§More importantly my professor taught me to be flexible, which is an essential skill in public relations. You can prepare for months for a product launch or campaign and then something uncontrollable happens that causes it all to change.¡¨
Alongside exceptional teaching, the journalism faculty also provided her with active guidance and meaningful relationships.
¡§I really appreciated the family spirit of the journalism department. Professors and students respected one another, but also treated each other as friends,¡¨ she said.
Attending a Christian university helped prepare Cunningham for ALRC where the agency acts as a team. ¡§We all help each other and also meet once a week for devotionals and staff meetings.¡¨
Looking back at her time at Baylor, Cunningham said she feels that the journalism department presented her with many opportunities and found that the PR major was a good match for her natural skills.
¡§I was blessed by my experiences in the
public relations major,¡¨ she said. ¡§It was a major that combined a lot of my
strengths - writing, strategizing, speaking and problem solving. The more
classes I took, the more excited I was about the industry.¡¨
Pope uses her talents to serve othersBy REBEKAH HARDAGE
Jenny Pope always knew there was more to having a job than just a paycheck. She had a passion to make a difference, and she is now using the gifts God gave her to change the lives of children around the world.
Pope¡¦s journey begins as a senior in high school from Abilene, Texas, trying to decide where to attend college. Several factors were influencing her decision, but Baylor seemed to stand above the rest.
¡§I felt there were big school opportunities with a small school environment,¡¨ Pope said. Once she arrived at Baylor, choosing a major proved to be more difficult than she expected. She began in the telecommunications department, but found herself excelling in a public relations writing class.
Her professor, Maxey Parrish, encouraged Pope to pursue a major in journalism where her natural talent could blossom.
Pope was involved around campus, participating in Club Volleyball, Mortar Board, Freshman Class Council, and working as a content manager for Internet Technology Services, where she helped various departments choose and edit content for their websites.
She was a member of Chi Omega, where she served as both Sing and Pigskin chairs in 2003 and participated in intramural sports.
After graduating from Baylor in 2004 as the Outstanding Senior in Journalism, Pope felt prepared to enter the real world with confidence.
¡§In addition to practical preparation, especially being able to write press releases and understand the vernacular of public relations, I left Baylor with so much encouragement and I had every confidence in the world that I could be successful,¡¨ said Pope.
Immediately after graduation, Pope received an opportunity for an internship with the largest Broadway public relations firm in New York City.
Following her time at the public relations firm she did some work for the Major League Baseball website before landing a job at a boutique public relations agency.
The firm¡¦s clients included the hit television drama, ¡§Law and Order,¡¨ several RCA label artists, including Prince and the Gospel Music Channel.
After spending almost a year in New York, Pope began to feel the desire to do something more with her talent.
Her former boss at Buckner International, a nonprofit organization in Dallas, contacted Pope about an available position as the electronic editor.
Buckner describes itself as ¡§a multi-service agency dedicated to the restoration and healing of individuals and the family. In carrying out these services, Buckner adheres to Christian principles, which are ministered with professional competence.¡¨
Pope accepted the job and returned to Texas. She has quickly moved up at Buckner, recently being named the managing editor for Buckner Today magazine, which has a circulation of 115,000.
¡§As managing editor of Buckner Today, I make all editorial decisions on content, layout and design. I choose which stories go in the magazine and where they run. I decide on the cover, in conjunction with our editor-in-chief. I write quite a bit of the content and serve as one of the primary photographers. I also serve as the primary copy editor.¡¨
Pope said she believes she has finally found a place where she can give back and use her God-given talents for His purpose.
¡§I get to play a part in making children¡¦s lives better all over the world, which is much more rewarding.¡¨